Case study - The Managerial “Hot Seat”

Carol Greely has been a registered nurse for 35 years and a manager for over ten years. She has been assigned a post as a nursing manager at a medical surgery unit known throughout the hospital as the "hot seat" due to its unfavorable character. Carol had no idea why the seat had been chosen, despite having learnt a few things about that department. After three months in that role, she was able to identify several unfavorable aspects of the department, such as a lack of professional ethics among the workers. This was so because there was high absentees in the department more than any other unit in the hospital.

The dress code was not enforced as well, there were also too many violations of the laid down procedures and too many juggling of shifts trades, as well shift changes in the last minute.There was an unsuccessful attempt by the hospitals management to organize the nurses but apparently the two attempts had originated from carols department.However despite these challenges carol developed resilient opinion about transformation and was determined to make it better than she found it. After working in this department for six months she realized that the nurses in that department were self-centered and only worked because of the paycheck.

They did mind about the welfare of the patients they were to serving.She received a startling piece of second hand information from a friend in the nursing department but swore secrecy to the source.It was revealed to her that it was a closely guarded secret among the nursing administration that the unit was deliberatelymaintained as a concentration of marginal employees.This was a management plan to keep the butterflies and malcontents in a single place to avoid them disrupting the other units.Carol also learnt from her friend that she would not last more than eighteen months in that seat before someone else would be reassigned to that position.At first she become annoyed but with time after deep reflection she become determined to do something with her remaining time to turn the hot seat into a real nursing unit.

In-depth plan of action for Carol

Succeeding in this managerial hot seat will not be an easy task for carol however with the right attitude and determination she will make it(Bloom & Van Reenen,2015). There are some steps that should be her prerequisites to consider in her action plan to success and one of them is to delegate. Once these nurses are given responsibilities they will start believing in themselves and focus on the goals they have been given. This delegation will also help carol save a lot of energy because she cannot be everywhere every time.

What Carol require to prioritize is quality of the work done but if she checks on every small detail that the nurses are involved in rather than delegating she will waste everyone’s valuable time. Each nurse has strength and a decent leader identifies these strength and allocates them duties depending on their different gifts(Alfes & Soane,2013). This allows the nurses not only perform well in their tasks but to gain valuable skills and experience leadership.This plan allows them slowly to become managers in their own duties and this ultimately benefits the hospital.The reason HR hired them was for a purpose and giving them an opportunity to prove HR right will be the best starting point for Carol.

As the unit manager and leader, Carol must understand the nurse’s strength and skills to match them to the tasks she gives them. The behavior styles are also crucial in maximizing efficiency therefore for carol as the leader she must identify who among the nurses is creative, extroverted and out of the box thinker and give them a position in the customer service desk because if such a person is given a more rule-intensive detailed task they may struggle and perform poorly (Hayton,2015).

It is now public knowledge to all managers that communication is the key to productive workforce.Communicating ideas in a clear concise manner will be a win-win for both Carol and the nurses, communication is a bridge between these two levels of employees. It breaks the ice between the different levels and fosters friendship and harmony that is currently lacking in the unit. There is the benefit of using technology in the hospital in that it has allowed us to contact each other with a mere click of a button.The traditional communication tools such as telephone, emails were found by a McKinsey study to be the second most time consuming after job specific tasks(Beske& Seuring,2014).Therefore it will be prudent for Carol to try social networking tools such as WhatsApp, slack and Facebook to communicate quicker among the team members. Social communication will detach the formality barrier and allow employees express themselves with their leaders in a more improved manner.

Carol will then define a clear and focused goal that is easily achievable, achievement by employees serves as a motivation to them. It would be unfair for Carol to expect the nurses to be efficient and focused while they don’t have a clear goal. If an objective is not clearly defined the employees will be less productive so Carol must make sure that assignments are clear and as narrow as possible. It will be sensible for Carol to elucidate to them what she expects from each one of them and their overall impact on the hospital.Once sure way of this approach will be designing a SMART goal,specific,measurable,attainable,realistic and timely(Buchanan& McCalman,2014).

The next step for carol would be to ask herself what next after the nurses achieve the smart goals that she has set. One of the best ways to embolden employees after an achievement is actually to incentivize them(Bloom & Van Reenen,2015).This gives them a reason as to do what you ask them to do. Carol will distinguish the employees for the job well done and through this method they feel appreciated and encouraged to continue increasing their productivity. When recognizing them Carol will also be careful to take into account their individual needs and preferences. For instance there are the extroverts who want public recognition and the introverts who would appreciate a simple thank you.Some of other methods of recognition include, sending a handwritten note to an employee,this note has a personal touch as you spent your time thanking them for a job well done.Carol can choose to take the employees out for a meal or allow them to leave work early.Additional paid time off allows the nurses to some time off without using their vacation or sick time, these are some of the methods that can be considered for increasing employee morale.

Steps in the plan where HR can assist

The human resources department is responsible for employee hiring and firing therefore carol will require them to come up with a small productive employee number(Alfes & Soane,2013).She will need to cut on the excess numbers to remain focused to the goals she has and with the remaining period. First she must quickly identify the nurses with a lot of negative energies to eliminate them from the rest of the group because they will always complain and appreciate nothing good with the hospital consequently it is better for them to protest from outside.

Carol will also need to take a keen look at the routine and cut some time on it for the nurses to focus on the high priority assignments.A virtuous example is where nurses spend time writing daily reports to their supervisors but they hardly get time to read them, Carol can do away with the report writing requirement.

The HR will also help carol in training and developing key skills in the nurses in her department.She can contemplate an external facilitator to sharpen their skills and motivate them in their jobs. There will be a lot of guidance required in the department therefore Carol might require an additional number of supervisors to be hired by the HR department. These supervisors allows the nurses accomplish tasks is a desired manner(Hayton,2015). This method saves the hospital time because there is no time wasted trying to answer simple questions and well as correcting errors.

Carol through the HR department can allow some of the back office nurses to embrace telecommuting. This method has been proven in a number of studies, employees who work from home are 13% more efficient than those in the office(Beske& Seuring,2014).This will save the hospital expenses incurred such as tea, electricity and water. The nurses allowed to telecommute will save time for the hospital and for themselves that would have been wanted travelling to and back.

The HR and Carol will design performance review after every quarter to measure the productivity of each nurse. Giving feedback is vital in succeeding in this department, there would be no hope for the nurses in this department if the nurses do not know they are inefficient in the first place(Buchanan& McCalman,2014).Individual meetings will enable nurses know where they are excelling and where they need to improve.Employee require guidance on some task and yet in others they desire to be allowed a little creative freedom therefore Carol must balance these two to create an enabling environment. Nurses will also be required to give feedback about carol because feedback is a clear way of helping one improve. This feedback sharing session will create a culture of open dialogue over time.


In conclusion Carol must reflect on the big picture for the department, the activities that benefit the hospital and nurses should form her policy plan. There are some actions that might look like a waste of time but might truly be to her advantage in the long run. Carol will need to utilize a number of efficiency tips and ensure any extra hour is put into good use.Technology will help her improve efficiency and reduce nurses frustration. Some of technological interventions she can consider are, ensuring the HR on boards the payroll that runs itself to ensure employees has a smooth ride with their salaries.


Bloom, N., Sadun, R., & Van Reenen, J. (2015). Do private equity owned firms have better management practices?. The American Economic Review, 105(5), 442-446.

Buchanan, D., Boddy, D., & McCalman, J. (2014). Getting in getting on getting out and getting back. In Qualitative research in business and management: practices and preoccupations. SAGE Publications Inc..

Beske, P., Land, A., & Seuring, S. (2014). Sustainable supply chain management practices and dynamic capabilities in the food industry: A critical analysis of the literature. International Journal of Production Economics, 152, 131-143.

Hayton, J. (2015). Leadership and Management Skills in SMEs: Measuring Associations with Management Practices and Performance.

Alfes, K., Shantz, A. D., Truss, C., & Soane, E. C. (2013). The link between perceived human resource management practices, engagement and employee behaviour: a moderated mediation model. The international journal of human resource management, 24(2), 330-351.

Deadline is approaching?

Wait no more. Let us write you an essay from scratch

Receive Paper In 3 Hours
Calculate the Price
275 words
First order 15%
Total Price:
$38.07 $38.07
Calculating ellipsis
Hire an expert
This discount is valid only for orders of new customer and with the total more than 25$
This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Find Out the Cost of Your Paper

Get Price